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Trofie - Spiral Pasta
Trofie with Pesto Sauce
Trofie with Pesto Sauce
Trofie (TROH-fee-eh) is a pasta from the region of Liguria in northwestern Italy.  The dough for this pasta
is simply made with flour, salt, and water - and no eggs. Sometimes the dough is made with semolina
flour but all-purpose flour is also used.  Small pieces of dough are twisted between the palms of your
hands to look like spirals with pointed ends; this is the traditional shape of trofie. Mostly eaten with pesto
sauce, trofie are also good with other sauces, such as walnut sauce, which is also used on Ligurian
pansotti, or a meat sauce.  Another way of serving trofie is with a few cooked potatoes and green beans,
and then dressed with a pesto sauce, similar to another Ligurian favorite, Trenette al Pesto.

If you have never made fresh pasta before, trofie are a good pasta to start with because you don’t need
any special tools like a pasta maker or even a rolling pin.  And since trofie are almost impossible to find
outside of Liguria, you will be making a truly unique pasta shape.
Plain Pasta Dough for Trofie

(Makes about 1 pound)


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt


Place the flour in a mound on a large floured surface.
Make a well in the center. Add the water and salt.
Using a fork, gently start to work the flour into the liquid.
Continue until the dough becomes sticky and difficult to work with the fork.
Use your hands to form the dough into a ball.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 balls, cover, and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

You can also make this dough in a food processor.
Add all the ingredients to the bowl and pulse until a dough forms.
Knead the dough with your hands to form a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into 8 balls, cover, and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
How to Form Trofie
Shape each of the dough
balls into a thick rod or
Roll the dough cylinder back
and forth on a very lightly
floured surface until the width
of the rod is about 1/2-inch
Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut each elongated rod into 1/2-inch pieces
Put the cut pieces aside and toss them with additional flour to keep them from sticking together
Place one of the pieces of
dough at the top of the palm of your hand.  Place the tips of your fingers of the other hand on top of the piece of dough.
Gently press down on the
piece of dough and roll your
fingertips down the palm of
your hand to the end of your
The piece of dough will have
formed into a spiral with
slightly tapered ends.  Do not
roll  the dough back and forth
or you will unroll the spiral
Place the completed trofie on a lightly floured surface and allow to dry for 1-2 hours before cooking.
To Serve Trofie:
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
Since trofie is a fresh pasta, the cooking time will only be 3-4 minutes.
Drain and serve with pesto sauce.
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A classic from Liguria, short, twisty trofi
are ideally shaped for holding sauce.  Often served with Genovese Basil Pesto, these trofie are hand rolled from hard durum wheat flour and water.
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